beige living room

What comes after black and white?

My pink and gray bedroom had to go. I’d had that color combo for too long and I needed a change. I wasn’t sure what direction to go, and as serendipity would have it, I was directed to the new color for the room via a gift of a forest green and burgundy bedspread. Right on-trend. ( Except that I don’t really like forest green and/or burgundy). I lived with that for a few years until I realized I’d be happier with a monochromatic bedroom and chose a beautiful beige cotton matlisse spread fabric, and loved that for a long time.

Sound familiar? The green and burgundy bedspread was from the late ’80s and early ’90’s. I was a bit behind the times, so I was transitioning in 1993. 

And guess what is back in color trends? Well, not the forest green and burgundy, thankfully, but the return to earth tones. Away from the black and white of the last ten years, and on to creams, warm earth tones, and warm woods. Not a speck of gray in sight.

It’s all a cycle.

Yup, what goes around comes around. Everywhere — in the 20 pounds you lost yo-yo dieting, in feeling guilty about that, and in home decor — everything repeats.

Personally, I loved the black and white trend. I was getting a bit tired of the grays ( I’d been through that just before the green and burgundy of the late ’80s, after all), and I was curious to see what would become de rigueur. I thought it would be beige, after all it was beige’s turn at returning, so I wasn’t at all surprised.

And although the color poo-bahs are calling the colors by new names, and introducing descriptions like complex creams, it’s still a return to beige and earth tones. 

This time around the colors are cleaner, not so much muted. Think a ‘clear’ sage green rather than a muted one. Think cleaner orange, not the super-muted terra cotta. But not bright colors, clean colors. Big difference.

homesandgardens 2110270
from HomesandGardens

Beware of pink-beige!

Here’s a tidbit that may help. A lot of the beiges in the decor world are pink-beige. And pink beige is the most insidious color in the world, I swear. It creeps up and before you know it, you’ve got a room that is drab and icky and it’s all because of that darn pink-beige. It looks dirty next to clean colors, so if you have a pink-beige rug and try to add a good olive green sofa or clean terra cotta colors in the drapery, the carpet will look dirty. Better to find a yellow or green-undertoned beige. Pink beige looks best with blue…

So with the return to beige, choose clean colors, not muted ones. Stay in the warm colors, the ones on the color wheel from orange-red, through orange and yellow to yellow-green and to olive. Keep the wood natural-toned. Metal finishes? Brass, gold, black…. be careful with silver and the brushed nickel look. 

Texture is vitally important if you are going for a monochromatic look, but that’s just good decorating no matter what the color scheme. 

 And green. That means plants. Nothing spiffs up beige like greenery.

 I’ll post some pictures when I release this on the website.

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